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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

No PM can govern country solo, says Dr M


Dr Mahathir Mohamad says a prime minister does not know everything.

PUTRAJAYA: A prime minister should obtain the input from his Cabinet when governing the country as they might lack expertise in certain fields, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

“A prime minister does not know everything. He needs to rely on others, like his ministers or a committee,” he said at a forum today.

The two-time prime minister cited the time he consulted a committee comprising financial experts, like bankers, during the Asian financial crisis in the 90s.

Mahathir, who was a prime minister twice for a total of 22 years and 22 months, said these experts would offer unbiased views.

“And the decision made was on the views of this committee,” he said, likely alluding to the decision to peg the ringgit in 1998.

Mahathir said this when commenting on a statement by Hisomuddin Bakar, the executive director of Ilham Centre, a think tank, that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s “self centred” traits overshadowed the other ministers.

Comparing the current government to a band, Hisomuddin said that Anwar wanted to be the “lead singer, drummer and guitarist.”

Separately, Mahathir also said he was puzzled by the government’s reluctance to admit that the country is facing an economic downturn.

The ringgit required serious attention from the government, he said.

“If the value falls (against the US dollar), we will end up purchasing things at higher prices, leading to a decrease in purchasing power.

“This, in turn, results in an increase in the cost of living.”

While the ringgit continued to improve against the US dollar, it fell to its lowest level since the Asian financial crisis last month.

Mahathir also said the government should stop boasting about the quarterly increase in GDP, as it did not reflect the reality on the ground. - FMT

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